I’m originally from Iceland but I’ve lived in London most of my adult life. My name comes from Norse mythology – Sif is the goddess wife of Thor, the strong and handsome thunder god. I tried to find a Thor for a husband but no one was available.
What I miss most from Iceland is the chocolate covered liquorice and the short, dark winter days.
My favourite book of all times is Pippi Longstocking by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. I recently listened to an interview with Sheryl Sandberg where she urged governments and companies to do more to close the gender pay gap and said that girls should be encouraged to become leaders from an early age. I believe that if all girls read Pippi Longstocking, women would be running the world.
I’m a professional thief. All writers are thieves. In my office, there’s a sign that says: “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.” I’m a news junkie and I get inspiration and ideas from reading the papers in the morning. Quite a few politicians have made an appearance in my books – in disguise of course. So have friends and family members. As a writer you steal characteristics, you steal experiences – and everything in-between.
I’ve been writing books for ten years and my novels for teenagers and young adults are best sellers in Iceland. I have a regular column on politics in Iceland’s main newspaper. I was once blacklisted by a prime minister. He is now on my blacklist and I’m working on my revenge: All will be revealed in my next book which will feature an unbalanced prime minister who’s out to destroy the world.
My writing is fuelled by cold coffee. Without it I’m a like a car with an empty tank.
I love travelling and the idea for my latest book, I Am Traitor, came to me whilst visiting Sarajevo in 2007. My husband and I went on a guided tour of the city. There weren’t many tourists there and we were the only people on the tour. After the tour, we had tea with the tour guide, who was the same age as us, and he told us about being a teenager during the siege of Sarajevo. I’d assumed that during a war like that people would just stay inside and wait for the awfulness to be over. But far from it. He told us amazing stories about how the kids snuck out of their houses to meet up, go to parties and just carry on with normal life. They were stories of regular people trying to hold on to a semblance of normality during the breakdown of everything we take for granted. His stories inspired me to write a book about survival, courage and the prevailing of the human spirit under the most extreme circumstances.
My writing is greatly influenced by my Nordic background. The strangest Scandinavian thing that has inspired me is a bowl. The space crafts in I am Traitor are inspired by a bowl – as in fruit bowl. Not any old bowl though, but a famous bowl made by the Danish designer Georg Jensen. These bowls are very minimalistic, made from stainless steel and stand empty on countless table-tops all across the Nordic countries. I have one. My parents have one, my brothers, my friends in Iceland, my cousins in Denmark, everyone…
I don’t believe in inspiration; I believe in perspiration. It’s important to sit and write everyday whether you feel up to it or not.
My favourite word in any language is “Schnurrbart”. It’s German and means moustache. It just sounds funny.
I Am Traitor is available now online and in book stores